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We have again to address our readers and contributors at the close of another year, during which we have been permitted to send forth the periodical committed to our literary guardianship.
Within the last twelve months there has not been that open war and turmoil within the bosom of our beloved Church which we last year had to deplore, and which forced us to devote so much of our space to the jarring elements of active" controversy. The Tractarian party,—so overwhelmingly rebuked.by the sound sense and doctrinal orthodoxy of the great body of the .Church,—has for a time been compelled to hide in its own quarters, its shameless attempts at the betrayal of that Church with which it is only in name identified. Many members of that conspiracy or delusion have felt unable any longer to retain a position so manifestly incongruous with their teaching and their still stronger leanings, and have therefore gone where their yearning hearts had long prompted them to go,—to test Rome itself in all the reality and perfection of its system.
It would be well,—it would be far more consonant with our feelings,—if the Christian Guardian could from this somewhat altered state of things be enabled to give up the sword and the shield, and betake itself wholly to the far more agreeable task of assisting, in its humble measure, to minister to the flock of Christ. But while we write, the danger still increases. Rome, and the men who have left us for that communion, are restless, and most energetic in their efforts against our Protestant Christianity; and not only is there danger to be guarded